State of the Blog Address

Many years ago my husband and I attended a leadership conference hosted by our church. There were many amazing speakers over the course of the weekend and a lot of wisdom was shared. But there was one speaker who shared a phrase which so resonated with me that it has repeatedly come to mind ever since.

“A mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pews.” (Dr. Howard Hendricks)

Now, obviously this is a reference to those in roles as pastors or preachers, but I believe that the essence of this statement is applicable to anyone who has a circle of influence…which is basically all of us.

If you are unclear about your vision or your goal, then it is going to be REALLY unclear to those around you. And here, At the Picket Fence, we don’t want things to be unclear. We don’t want you to be in the ‘fog’.



When we started At the Picket Fence, I (Vanessa) had a 2 year old and a 6 year old. Now I have a 9 year old and a 13 year old. My life, like your lives, has seen a lot of growth and change over the past 7 years.

But, one thing has always remained the same and that is our desire for this to be a place for real community to happen. A place for you to ‘know’ and ‘be known’.

If it were possible, we would all live in one giant neighborhood together and meet at that place where our fences intersect. We would swap recipes and stories, share tips and ideas, cry and laugh together. But, since that would have to be one really big neighborhood, we like to think of this as our online picket fence. And we truly love meeting you here.

As the landscape of blogging and social media has changed, we’ve found ourselves thinking more and more about where we fit in all of it. What is our place? We are neither a strictly Home Decor/DIY blog nor are we a strictly writing/faith-based blog. We’re kind of like the ‘tweens’ of the blogging community.

Over the years, so many of you told us that you wished you could just pick up all of our blog posts and carry them around with you. And when we were given the incredible opportunity to publish our newly released book, ‘Life in Season‘ we believe that it really captured what we attempt to do here which is celebrating the beautiful intertwining between heart and home.

Or, as we like to say, “Where ideas for your home meets inspiration for your heart.”

We are fully aware of the fact that you have an endless supply of home related inspiration at your disposal. Between Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest alone you can find whatever your heart desires. But maybe you’re like us and growing just a little bit weary of SO.MUCH.INSPIRATION. Maybe you don’t think you can handle seeing one more perfectly decorated room or one more idea for repurposing wood pallets. Maybe you think you might scream if you hear the word ‘Pinterest Worthy’ one more time.

Here At the Picket Fence, we will always open our homes to you. We will always share with you tips and ideas for creating spaces that feel like a true haven. We will always pass along a good recipe or a fun craft that we think you would enjoy trying yourself. And, just like we always have, we will share our hearts with you as well.

But, more and more we feel the Lord nudging us into deeper waters. Closer relationships. More meaningful conversations. And we are exploring what that means when it comes to this community. It is very clear to us that this is the direction we are supposed to be heading in, but since there is still some ‘mist’ over what that will actually look like we don’t want to go into too much detail for fear it will be really ‘foggy’ for you.

What we do know is that there may be stretches of time where there is more inspiration for your heart than ideas for your home. And that we want it to be less about us and more about you…about what is happening in your life and how we can come alongside you on your journey. We want to be more interactive and engaged.

These aren’t HUGE changes or a GIANT shift in our focus here, but I suppose the purpose for this ‘State of the Blog Address’ is just to reinforce the vision we’ve always had for this community and to let you know that we hear you and we are here for you.

Words can never do justice in expressing the depth of our gratitude to all of you for allowing us to share our lives with you and for sharing your lives with us. We never could have imagined just where this At the Picket Fence journey would take us which is why we won’t try too hard to predict what will happen in this coming year.

When a new year rolls around it seems that everyone around me is choosing a word of the year or making sweeping statements about how THIS will be the year that everything falls into place. THIS will be the year they go after big dreams. THIS will be the year of change. THIS will be the year when life will be better than it was last year.

But I’ve decided that, for me, it’s not enough to simply declare that I believe that better things lie ahead of me in this brand new year.

It’s about declaring that I believe that God’s BEST lies ahead of me.

God's best for me quote


And we hope you will stick with us as we discover together just what that is!

Thank you so much for meeting me at the fence today dear friends,

Vanessa signature


  1. says

    I have always enjoyed visiting At the Picket Fence! I don’t always stop to read each post, I get distracted or time constraints interfere but I am glad that I read each word today. I look forward to seeing how God works this year. Have a great day!

  2. Mary says

    Thanks for sharing your heartfelt and inspiring words. I look forward to more “visits at the fence” in the coming months❤️

  3. Dorothy says

    What a thoughtful post about your commitment to “our community”. Thank you for all your inspiration and sharing

  4. Anita Ward says

    I am so excited about the new year following you in The Picket Fence. At the age of “closer to 70″, I really need this is this season of my life!! Thank you so much!

  5. says

    I could not love this more. There’s such pressure to be only one thing in blogging, but I disagree. People are complex and diverse. They aren’t just home design, food, or spiritual. I believe you all are a blessing to so many and may it continue to bless many more.

  6. Pamela says

    its good you are tapping into what appears to be a rather universal blogger’s expectation that life is always uphill on the graph, which I personally feel is deception. I am old. I have lived longed enough with disappointment and tragedy to know that God’s ways are not man’s ways. God has blessed…abundantly! the world of so many faithful, beautiful Christain women blogger’s of which you are both. I truly see this format as His platform to encourage Christian women. What a value it has. We had nothing like when I was a young wife and mom. But, as with all His blessings, it’s His, not ours to presume “how” He will take us. And while His many blessings in the area of home-keeping bring us much joy they will never bring us happiness. You have hit the nail on the head. Great post.

  7. Bonnie says

    Thanks so much for caring about your readers and for sharing your heart and soul. as well as helpful posts about decorating, cooking, etc. I know that I will continue to enjoy reading what the Lord has put on your hearts.


    Bless your heart for sharing your innermost feelings with us. Your posts are truly a breath of fresh air — which is exactly what we all need. God has truly blessed you — and your dear sister! You gals always touch on what is really important in our life and cause us to stop and think about what an awesome God we have.

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart! May you always be a blessing to all those you come in contact with. We all need some “soul searching” posts and not just the ones that continue to tell us how to beautify our homes! How we all need a God filled home and a home where our friends see God living in us through our words, actions and friendship.


  9. says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts of what God has in store for you. I have been a friend of you both since I started reading the blogs and certainly enjoyed them. You can never go wrong with what God has in mind for you. My prayers and thoughts will be with you both and look forward to seeing where God leads you. I know it will be wonderful.

  10. says

    All I have to say is that I have enjoyed your journeys and look forward to more of your journeys going forward. Yes, the blogging world has changed so much, but as long as you two stay the course and be true to yourselves as I know you will…there will always be so many, many of us who will continue to enjoy your beautiful blog.
    Shirley@Housepitality Designs recently posted..Making it Easy for Setting the TableMy Profile

  11. Joanna says

    New to your blog since stumbling upon your book on Amazon. I’m really into home décor blogs and books but am open to authentic sharing from sisters in Christ. So write away. :)

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